Fifth Video Lesson Research James Patterson’s MasterClass

Friday’s Video Lesson 5  from James Patterson’s MasterClass.

For those who don’t understand these posts. I am taking James Patterson’s MasterClass. Every Friday I will post  a few words about what I learned and what I am pondering , about this lesson. This week is lesson five. If you have questions post them here. Or, if you want to join this class, then click the link in the left top sidebar.

James Patterson masterclass lesson five
James Patterson masterclass lesson five

This lesson is about the information you will need to fill out your story.

RESEARCH

“The more you BS when you are writing a book the worse it is” ~ James Patterson

SEEK INSPIRATION

“For male readers, details can never be enough. If you get it wrong you lose them. If you as a writer can’t get your facts straight, how can your readers believe anything in the story? Don’t fake it! Don’t make it up.”~ James Patterson

KNOW YOUR LOCATIONS

“If you are writing about a city it is important in your story you need to be there. Wandering around a new city, what do you notice?”~James Patterson

My thoughts went off in the direction of  drawing up a map. You will need a map of ‘where’ your story takes place.  Your characters won’t be floating in space. They need a place to live, to move around, to cause damage.

If your setting is in a city block, how many houses are on this street? If it is in the country or an apartment building, how many people live there? How many pets? How many kids? Where are the trees? Fences and the grocery store, the library? Just like in your neighborhood show where your characters’ take a walk, and how do they get to work? A bus? A car? Do they walk or jog or ride a bike?

Can’t draw. Then do a search on Google Maps. Try your own home address. Or go right to the location of your novel. Move the map around, find the right street. Make sure you have the local flavor, the grocery store, library, or coffee shop. You will see each street labeled. You can get in closer and explore the area right on ground level.

copy a map from google maps
copy a map from google maps

Try this with any town. Take a screen shot. Copy it out by hand or print it out. You have the beginnings of your setting. Your story map.

Be as detailed as you like

Now back to James Patterson’s MasterClass.

CONDUCT INTERVIEWS
James Patterson said, “Mostly you won’t have trouble getting an interview. People like to talk about what they do.”

I wonder if in his  first interview he was nervous?  Is he still nervous? I wonder if he was ever turned down for an interview?

With the Cross book, James Patterson had to learn about forensic psychology to make his book believable.

What I got out of this, was to write about what you know- then learn the rest. Talk to people. Find someone, who can do what you need to learn. Go to the library. Look on the Internet, ask questions, find the information then write about it.

As an example: You need to learn how to fly a hot air balloon. Check out the Internet. Find a company who will take you up in a hot air balloon. Then once you are up in the big blue yonder, you can start asking questions. Always be polite and request that interview instead of cornering people.

I just did a Google search on ‘Hot Air Balloon’ rides near me and found, Nostalgia Ballooning. So many beautiful pictures!

Lesson Five has a workbook,  a comment section, and a video critique if you have questions on this or any lesson, you can post a video for Mr. Patterson.

From me: read, read, read, you will learn a lot about how to write,  by reading and picking apart someone else’s stories.

See you next Friday for lesson six of James Patterson’s MasterClass. If you want to take this class, click on the link in the -top-left sidebar.

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